I finished reading (finally) my first F rated romance of the year this week.
Windwalker by Natasha Mostert.
Now why did I rate it an F? Well, it had a lot of problems, but what ultimately clinched it was the ending. Repeat after me, this book is not a romance. And since it was published under Tor's paranormal romance line that is a real problem. Frankly, it borders on false advertising.
The heroine is a photojournalist running away from her problems. She has attempted suicide in the past, has a really shitty relationship with Mom, and feels guilty over her part in her beloved brother's death. So instead of seeing a good therapist, she decides to take the job of caretaker of a rundown English manor.
Cue creepy music here.
The hero is the son of the former owner of said creepy manor, living in exile in Africa. He murdered his brother 9 years ago. So now he wanders the African desert and writes letters to a mysterious woman. See, our boy believes in the concept of "soul mates." The mysterious woman in question is the heroine. He just doesn't know who the heck she is, and that she's living in his former home.
Windwalker is the most boring romance I have ever read. I'd never read a boring romance before. Oh sure, I've read bad ones - but boring? We're talking pages and pages of description here. Chapters go by without any dialouge. It takes forever for something to happen, and when it finally does it's so frickin' anti-climactic I could care less.
Then there is the suspense - um, there isn't any. There's some decent gothic atmosphere here, but with no suspense to add punch it becomes really dull. Justine attracts a stalker once she's living in the manor, but the reader knows immediately his identity - so gee we just follow him skulking about for the entire book. Boring. Then there's a tedious villain in Africa with Russian mob ties whose business scheme is thwarted by the hero's friend. Gee, wonder what will happen there?
But that's not the worst of it. Oh no. Boring I can live with. But the ending? Mostert breaks the cardinal rule of romance. I'm talking the granddaddy of all rules. Did you hate the ending to A Knight In Shining Armor? This one is worse. Trust me. I liked the ending to AKISA, and this ending made me want to ram my head into a wall.
If you don't believe me, check out the review over at AAR. My review over at TRR should be posted within the next week or so.